14 Jul 2019

Tales from the typing pool

From Standing Room Only, 12:44 pm on 14 July 2019

Over the years, thousands of New Zealand women worked in public service typing pools since the 1940s. "Typing pool" is an obsolete term these days, but government departments and private businesses still depend heavily on secretarial skills - attention to detail, discretion and of course speed and accuracy. Keystrokes per minute is an oral history project recording the stories of typists - some into their 90s now, and many of them still resentful of the fact their parents pushed them into this line of work. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage has awarded this project funding from its New Zealand Oral History Awards programme. Once all the interviews are recorded there are plans for a book and radio podcasts. Dr Judith Aitken of the Keystrokes Per Minute team tells Lynn Freeman it's a fascinating project.

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